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House Republicans seek probe of Chinese Communist Party investment in U.S. visa program

Chuck Ross on June 15, 2020

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee is asking the Government Accountability Office to review whether members of the Chinese Communist Party have exploited a program that allows foreigners to obtain green cards by investing in businesses in the United States.

Reps. Jim Jordan and Guy Reschenthaler sent a letter Monday to Gene Dodaro, the comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office, inquiring whether the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its members have used the EB-5 program to gain a foothold in the United States.

“It has become clear in recent years that the CCP may be abusing the program to gain access to U.S. permanent residency for their members,” the Republicans wrote.

The EB-5 program, which Congress enacted in 1990, grants permanent visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in U.S.-based businesses or real estate development projects.

Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized EB-5 over the years, saying that the program provides a loophole for wealthy foreigners to obtain permanent residence in the United States. The program has also been scrutinized over allegations that Americans have defrauded foreign investors by promising large returns on business projects in exchange for visas.

Jordan’s letter underscores escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington over the Chinese government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. officials have accused the Chinese communist regime of lying about its efforts to contain the virus. The U.S. government has also accused Chinese leaders of mounting propaganda efforts to divert blame for the pandemic. The pandemic has also exposed how heavily the U.S. economy relies on Chinese companies for its medical supply chain.

Jordan and Reschenthaler noted that 80% of EB-5 visas granted between 2012 and 2018 went to Chinese investors.

They are asking the GAO, which provides audits of federal programs for Congress, to provide information on the extent to which the communist party has used the EB-5 system to obtain visas for members. They are also seeking data on the amount of investment funding from the CCP or investors affiliated with the party.

Family members of Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Jared Kushner have all operated companies that promoted the EB-5 program.

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